The Wall Street Journal came out with an article informing people what they must know about their health care in 2013. The article is about what will be implemented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) next year. This is extremely important, as these changes will affect many people. Although, ACA does not fully go into effect until 2014, there are significant changes that will take place next year.
First, the Summary of Benefits and Coverage will be presented in a new more user friendly way. The ACA prevents insurance companies from using fine print, meaning you will be able to understand your coverage. The summary must be presented in clear easy to read way and it must provide a description of how your plan works, what your plan does and does not cover. This is significant because you will know the details of your insurance plan and there will be no confusion. Additionally, all health care providers must provide this summary for each plan they provide allowing the consumer to be able to clearly determine the benefits and coverage of each possible plan they might want to purchase. Making it easier to decide what coverage plan to purchase or choose. If you do not receive this information next year make sure you contact your provider or employer, as it will be extremely helpful.
Second, coverage of dependents might be affected. When the ACA went into effect, the law allowed for dependents to continue to be covered up until the age of 26. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2013, 7% of employers are planning a major reduction in subsidized coverage plans for dependents, while 31% are considering doing the same in 2014 or 2015.
Third, in 2013 the limit of a flexible spending account will be capped at $2,500. A flexible spending account enables someone to set aside money for out of pocket health care expenses. In 2013, the amount that you can set aside will be $2,500, which is a change because currently the employer is able to determine the amount that their employees can set aside. However, now, if the money set aside in the flexible spending account it will be lost. So you must be careful how you use your flexible spending account in the coming year.
Lastly, in 2013, the caps placed on annual limits will increase from $1.25 million to $2 million. This is important for people with serious or chronic medical conditions. However, what will be even more significant for these people is that caps on coverage will be eliminated in 2014, however, until then the cap is increased next year. Even though $2 million like seem like a whole lot of money, anyone with a chronic or serious illness or who has a family member suffering from this type of illness must know about this increase.
These are significant changes for many people across this country that everyone must be aware of. Everyone needs to be aware of the details of their health care coverage because you never know when you need it.
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